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Earth's Interior

The first column is the compositional layers,distinguished by the ingredients that make each layer.

The second column is the physical layers, distinguished by the solidity and movement of each layer

continental drift

is the theory that continents can drift apart from one another and have done so in the past

sea-floor spreading

is the process by which new oceanic lithosphere is created as older materials are pulled away

plate tectonics

the theory that the Earth's lithosphere is divided into tectonic plates that move around on top of the asthenosphere

convergent boundary

When two tectonic plates push into one another, the boundary where they meet

divergent boundary

The boundary between two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other.

subduction zone

The region where oceanic plates sink down into the asthenosphere.

transform boundary

the boundary between two tectonic plates that are sliding past each other horizontally


the amount of force per unit area that is put on a given material


the type of stress that occurs when an object is squeezed as when two techtonic plates collide.


Stress that occurs when forces act to stretch an object.


Occurs when rock layers bend due to the stress in the Earth's crust.


The surface along which rocks break and slide past each other.

normal fault

a fault in which the hanging wall moves down relative to the footwall

reverse fault

A fault in which the hanging wall moves upward relative to the footwall.

strike-slip fault

occurs when opposing forces cause rock to break and move horizontally

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